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Whether you’ve opted for a professional spray tan or use self-tanning lotion at home, the key to sun-kissed success (minus the sun) is all in how you prep. Nicole Hyatt, the CEO of Canadian mobile airbrush tanning service Tan on the Run, says it’s important to exfoliate from head to toe ahead of time and apply product on dry skin that’s free of lotions and makeup. Afterward, she recommends using gentler soaps and lotions to optimize your tan’s longevity. “The face fades a bit faster, so I always like to top up with a tanning lotion or bronzer about three or four days in,” she says. Hyatt recommends visiting a professional if your tan is for a special event and stresses that DIYers should start slow with at-home products. “You can always add more but you can’t remove it once it is set,” she says. “You are stuck with it for about a week.”

My recommendation: I experimented with different beauty products during the pandemic. One of my trial runs in 2020 was with self-tan drops that I applied before bed. A bit of the liquid is mixed in with your moisturizer to help you develop a gradual glow that you can layer on again the next night or let fade away. Canadian brand Teaology’s new tan drops are vegan and made of 99-per-cent natural ingredients.

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Teaology Bronzing Tea Drops Serum, $49 at drugstores and through teaology.ca on April 18.

Need some advice about your skin and hair care routines? Send your questions to ritual@globeandmail.com